Is chess popular?
I thought about why chess is less popular than other sports? I'm going to express my private opinion on this matter.
Chess is inferior to other sports in popularity (yes, just in popularity, but not in entertainment!). You can convert the format of World Championship into the blitz - this will make it spectacular, but won't increase its popularity!
In my opinion, the reasons are as follows.
Honoraria (prizes / salary / advertising contracts), which earn high level sportsmen in other sports, are about $ 5-30 million per year. I think there are only 3-4 people in chess, who come up to the sum of $ 1 million a year.
Let's go ahead. Whom do we see in commercials on TV, in magazines and other media?
The stars of course, but not chess stars! Only a few try to promote themselves in advertisements. My special respect to Magnus Carlsen for that.
Now recall yourself being a child. Most of us had an idol, most often it was the one we've seen on TV. And we see the politicians, businessmen and sports stars. And we wanted to imitate them in something - to become a famous actor, a world boxing champion, a president. A dream arose in us - to become as cool / popular / famous / powerful / rich. That's how we set ourselves a goal and chose a further course of life.
And why does a child need to become a chess player?
Chess is considered to be a smart game. But for some reason, there are very few advertising contracts with top chess players. Do you think it's bad for some company to position itself by supporting champions of such a clever game? I think not.
Apparently, the matter is different...